Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Date with my Camera

Silver birch - how grasslands become forests.....
Step One: Dress in layers.

Step Two: Stuff a few things - sketch pad, water bottle, wallet, and camera - into tiny little day pack. Look outside and realize that you've picked the windiest day of the year and grab iPod to give your ears a little protection from the blowing wind and to see how nature looks with a soundtrack.

Step Three: Leave a note.
Mine reads: I have gone to Beaver Creek for the afternoon. If I am not back by the time you read this, I've likely been kidnapped by badgers as retaliation for that thing that time. Send help! Love, C

Step Four: Snap with impunity.
I hadn't been out to Beaver Creek in a long time. But when the leaves start turning colours, I get this sense of wanderlust that drives me out amongst the trees.

(Last October, I was able to take a relaxed stroll down by the river at Fort Edmonton Park - it was very orange - and beautiful. And I don't have a single shot because I didn't back them up and my hard drive suffered a massive failure from which nothing was retrievable.)
So I went walking, weaving around groups of school children, taking photos when I wasn't being blown over and some even when I was. It's always refreshing to just breathe...
I am not much of a wildlife photographer. I photograph wildlife much like I garden - terribly. It's sad. I managed to frighten almost everything before I got a good shot or was so far away, by the time you zoom in, it's pixel-ated beyond all hope of recognition.
I did manage to say hi to the chickadee...
Catch a chipmunk before he dashed off....
And see what I thought was a stick in the path before it moved and I had the presence of mind to reach for the camera before the full body panic set in over a harmless little thing?
SEE????Probably not - but it's in there..... Did I mention that I'm lousy at wildlife photography? It is just a garter snake. Less than two feet long. But one of the things I adore about autumn is that reptiles like snakes are supposed to be hibernating. Sleeping. Dreaming of fields full of mice and affected British accents for when they are cast in the latest Disney cartoon. Anything but creeping me out. (Yeah, yeah - get over it City Girl. )
I did spot one particular tree....
Alone and defiant. Standing tall against the prairie, laughing into the wind. And not likely jumpy around harmless garter snakes...

It never ceases to amaze me how the prairie can go from thick brush and forest to plains in less time than it takes to aim a camera.
Anyone who says there is nothing on the prairies, or that they're a boring flatland, just isn't looking hard enough.

And anyone who thinks I'm afraid of snakes just hasn't seen me around spiders. :-) I'm not afraid - I respect. And respect requires a healthy distance.

PS. The quilt has been basted. However, its state of un-finish does not prevent its usefulness. To some, anyway.....

1 comment:

  1. sketchpad, water bottle, camera, ipod. sounds like the recipe for the perfect outing.

    and i love that particular tree.

    and your quote about seeing nothing on the prairies, reminds me of something I ready in Secret Garden, I think. love it.


Who doesn't love comments? I appreciate every single one and try to reply to each. Unless you're a no-reply commenter. Then I can't. And I have a little sad moment. Like a dropped ice cream cone. So if you're a no-reply commenter and have a question, check the comment thread and I'll try to reply there. :-)